Have You Been Using Clay Masks Wrong Your Entire Life?

I've written a short piece on some of the ways you may have been using clay masks wrong in your skin-care routine.

Have You Been Using Clay Masks Wrong Your Entire Life?

How much do you know about clay masks? Did you think you could just whack one on, let it dry fully, then rinse with hot water? If so, you’ve using clay masks wrong your entire life. But don’t worry, I’m here to debunk the things you didn’t know and get you to start using clay masks in the right way!

I don’t wash my face prior to using my clay mask

You should always wash your face with a mild facial soap or cleanse prior to using your clay mask. This is so that your skin is clean in order to allow the mask to work its magic and detoxify the skin. You wouldn’t iron a dirty dress, so why clay mask on a dirty face! Some of my favourite ways to clean my face prior are to use either Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, The Soap People Bee The Change Soap Bar, or the Sunday Ivy Magic Eraser.

I wash my clay mask off once it's cracking

Letting your clay mask dry until it cracks actually does more harm than good. This is due to the fact there are three phases of drying when using a clay mask; damp, drying and dry. During the damp phase, the skin absorbs all the beneficial minerals from the mask. As the mask begins drying it cools and contracts, stimulating blood flow to the capillaries. This helps to lift dead skin cells, even out skin tone and speed the healing process. At this point, when the mask is still tacky, you should rinse it off with lukewarm water. If you allow your mask to enter the dry phase, where it begins cracking, the clay will actually begin to suck the moisture back out of your skin leaving it to feel dehydrated and irritated.

I rinse my clay mask off with hot water

Using hot water can be very drying on the skin and so it is best to use lukewarm water. If you use a dry or rough towel it is also likely to cause damage to your skin. Make sure you're using a damp soft towel with lukewarm water to rinse off your clay mask. My favourite way to rinse off my clay mask is to use a damp Sunday Ivy Magic Eraser.

I moisturise straight after using my clay mask

You should actually avoid applying moisturiser straight after using your clay mask as the skin needs time to breathe. If you can, you should wait around an hour before applying a layer of moisturiser to your skin. Always make sure you are using a lightweight moisturiser, such as Clinique Moisture Surge.

My face is red, I must be reacting to it

Although this could be true, there are three more likely causes of redness after using a clay mask:
1. Clay is electronically charged
Meaning it stimulates the skin's blood circulation, causing increased blood flow to the capillaries of the skin. This in turn allows the cells to be nourished by essential nutrients and to flush away the waste. The increased blood flow to the capillaries on the surface of the skin causes your face to look red and flushed after using.
2. Leaving the clay mask on for too long
Once the mask dries fully and starts to crack it begins to suck moisture out of the skin, leaving it dehydrated and irritated when you rinse it off.
3. Washing off the clay mask with hot water
Hot water can be very drying on the skin and can cause your face to appear red after rinsing off your clay mask.
That goes without saying, however, that if the redness is long-lasting and causes irritation then you should discontinue using the product.

Can you relate to any of these? If so, hopefully now you are more aware of the ways you could be using a clay mask wrong. Why not treat yourself to a PERL Cosmetics British Pink Clay Mask and begin masking knowing you're using it to it's full potential.

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